VATICAN CITY - The Vatican denied on Friday that Pope Benedict's decision to send a senior official to a new post in Latin America was linked to a secret report about leaked papal papers.
Since Benedict announced his resignation on February 11, Italian newspapers have been full of rumors about conspiracies, secret reports and lobbies in the Vatican that they say pushed the pope to abdicate.Some reports hinted there were sinister motives behind the pope's decision to promote Monsignor Ettore Balestrero, an Italian who holds a post roughly equivalent to deputy foreign minister, to be the Vatican's new ambassador to Colombia.
The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said the suggestion that the pope had made the appointment to get Balestrero out of the Vatican was "absurd, totally without foundation."
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